KeyCorp plans to include automatic business-to-business payment processing as a feature on KeyProcure, its onlineB2B marketplace for middle-market corporate clients. The payment feature will allow buyers to compensate suppliers through ACH payments instead of paper check, the traditional means for settling commercial transactions.
The $85 billion bank recently completed the pilot phase of the project. "We have the whole process built and in production, ready to go," said Linda Grandstaff, executive vice president of KeyCorp and CEO of KeyNext, the bank's B2B eCommerce group.
Twenty corporations are using KeyProcure to purchase items from the 20,000-item catalog of Corporate Express, a Bloomfield, Colo. office supply company. Over the next few months, 150 additional customers are slated to join the exchange. "KeyProcure gives them access to a much more robust automated process than most middle-market companies have today," said Grandstaff.
KeyNext uses the Ariba Marketplace Network Edition platform. Fleet Bank, Bank of America and ABN AMRO have also announced partnerships with Ariba to establish B2B marketplaces.
It's easy for Key to arrange for its clients to use the e-marketplace. "The bigger challenge," said Grandstaff, "is that they have people who are used to using a catalog versus using a system to manage the process."